Obama, Romney campaign advisers trade blame on job creation

WASHINGTON Sun Jun 3, 2012 1:12pm EDT

1 of 2. U.S. President Barack Obama's campaign's senior strategist David Axelrod (C) stops to shake a protester's hand as he leaves a news conference at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, Massachusetts May 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advisers to President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney squared off on Sunday over job creation in a debate which, following Friday's weak jobs report, promises to be a deciding factor in the November vote.

Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Romney, citing Obama's healthcare reform law and a decision to put a major oil pipeline on hold, said on "Fox News Sunday" that Obama's policies have put a damper on job creation.

"The problem is this administration and this president's policies are hostile to job creators," Gillespie said.

He pointed to the president's decision to put an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas on hold to study its environmental impact. "The Keystone pipeline decision ... would have had an immediate impact on job creation," Gillespie said.

Friday's news that the unemployment rate had notched up to 8.2 percent in May, from 8.1 percent in April, and that job creation, at 69,000 in May, was weaker than expected was the result of weak presidential leadership, Gillespie said.

Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod noted in an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" that "Governor Romney offers himself as a job creator, a kind of economic oracle and he's saying the same exact thing as he said 10 years ago when he ran for governor of Massachusetts."

"What happened?," Axelrod asked. "Massachusetts plunged to 47th in job creation. They lost manufacturing jobs at twice the rate of the country and created jobs at one-fifth the rate of the rest of the country.

"It wasn't the record of a job creator. He had the wrong economic philosophy, and he failed," Axelrod said.

Gillespie cited the need for "entitlement reform" - a reference to the massive U.S. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs - as a pressing current need. He also criticized Obama for failing to back measures to stop the expiration of tax breaks set for the end of this year from hitting small business owners.

Repealing healthcare industry reforms enacted under Obama, which Republicans derisively call "Obamacare," should also be a priority, Gillespie said on the Fox News program.

"The mandate in the president's healthcare bill alone was estimated to cost 850,000 jobs in our economy by the Congressional Budget Office," Gillespie said.

Excessive government regulation and banking industry oversight under the Democratic Dodd-Frank Act are also a drag on corporate growth and job creation, Gillespie said.

(Reporting By Todd Eastham; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (40)
Monodist wrote:
I thought Axelrod was terrific talking about Romneys jobs record on Face the Nation:
“Take…the steel company in Kansas City [GST Steel]. Mitt Romney and his group bought that company; they put $8 million of their own dollars in for a $75 million company, immediately borrowed $125 million. And the next year took $36 million back out of that money for dividends. The company ultimately went bankrupt, workers lost their benefits, creditors lost out, and they walked away with millions of dollars,” Axelrod said.

“That may be a successful business strategy for them and it made money for them and their investors, but that is not an economic strategy that is going to rebuild the middle class in this country, that’s going to grow our economy in the long run. And that’s the point we’re making,” he added.

Jun 03, 2012 1:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TomC wrote:
Gillespie’s claim that the CBO said the ACA will cost 850,000 is an intentional distortion of the CBO analysis. What the CBO said was that because the ACA would allow people to get insurance outside their employer supplied insurace, 850,000 would retire earlier than they would if they had to continue to work to get insurance. So, the net result would be that 850,000 would leave the work force voluntarily and open up jobs which other could take. This would be a net positive for the people looking for work. So, Gillepsie intentionally took a positive statement from the CBO and distorted it to make it a negative. But that is what I have come to expect from the Republicans when it comes to anything about the ACA.

Jun 03, 2012 1:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
justinolcb wrote:
wait – how is Obama’s inability to create jobs Romney’s fault?? oh, that’s right he cant blame this one on Bush – jus’ sayin’

Jun 03, 2012 2:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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